Pepper spray is legal to carry in all 50 states. However, some states have limitations on how strong the spray is, how much is in the container, how old someone has to be to buy it and many others. Despite it being a powerful tool to protect yourself, it can also be used against you by police or others, whether intentionally or accidentally.
Students pepper-sprayed on bus
Fourteen students in Montgomery County, Maryland had to be taken to the hospital on Wednesday after another student sprayed the bus they were sitting in with pepper spray. A total of 56 students were on the bus in the parking lot of Watkins Mill Elementary school, and the bus did not leave the lot and all students were checked over and some sent to the hospital as a precaution. None had life-threatening injuries.
Police and fire department officials say an 11-year-old had unintentionally set off the pepper spray on the bus. While unintentional, police are still trying to investigate how the girl got a hold of pepper spray.
Dangers of pepper spray
Although it’s a great self-defense tool to temporarily blind and irritate a would-be attacker, there is also room for misuse and accidents with pepper spray – like the bus incident in Maryland. If you don’t understand how to effectively use the spray, or are playing around with it, you could hurt another person or even yourself. Even injury from a pepper spray accident on another person can get you in trouble.
A child who takes a parent or other adult’s pepper spray could be tempted to test it out, or accidentally set it off like the child did in Maryland. They can injure themselves and others, and it can get them into all kinds of trouble. In addition, if you may be in a crowd – whether it be a sporting event, a strike, protest or any other gathering – and someone sprays the crowd or just you and you get injured, that person can be held liable for their actions.
If you’ve been accidentally sprayed with pepper spray by another person, or someone intentionally sprayed you for no reason other than to harm you, it’s time to contact a lawyer. Although pepper spray is a self-defense weapon, it’s a weapon indeed when used for any other purpose. You and your lawyer can talk about any possible compensation for medical bills and distress caused by getting pepper sprayed.